July is celebrating a lot of awareness, including the five that often get the most attention, Disability Pride Month, National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, French-American Heritage Month, National Bison Month and Plastic Free July. For today, let’s focus on National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Since childhood, I felt there was more to life than working and making a living. Something else keeps me thriving and helps me in body, mind and spirit.  Yet, that something, call it life-force, is highly impacted by my environment: family, neighborhood, community, and government. Each area needs to be attended to much like a gardener attends to their flowers: weeding, watering and lighting.

Yet, not all of us have the same opportunities because of our environment. “In particular, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) populations face disproportionate amounts of historical trauma and displacement that have challenged how these communities remain sustainable and continue to thrive. Mental and Behavioral Health is highly affected.”  In 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported suicide was the third leading cause of death for Blacks or African Americans ages 15 to 24, and  25% of Black people seek mental health treatment when needed, compared to 40% of White people.  Why?  Stigma, availability, barriers to care, and lack of culturally sensitive care.

In 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives declared July as Bebe More-Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. The aim is to improve access to mental health treatment and services through increased public awareness. This aligns directly with the Southeast Brainspotting Institute’s (SEBI) Diversity Fellowship program.  “SEBI is committed to the behavioral health needs of all Americans, and the aim of the SEBI Diversity Fellowship is to reduce mental health treatment disparities by increasing access to a diverse pool of knowledgeable, talented and committed Brainspotting professionals.“Join us and spread the word.  Applications for the  Southeast Brainspotting Institute Diversity Fellowship Program Click here to apply and/or make a donation. Application acceptance ends July 15. 

Other ways you may want to help spread the word are on the National Minority Mental Health websiteAnd here is a video about Bebe Moore Campbell.

As stated earlier, as gardeners, we need to tend our garden – body, mind and spirit. I invite you to consider that both personally and collectively.  The mental health of each person matters. The healthier we are mentally, the calmer we can be in stressful situations. Many of us have gathered tools that help us become more regulated, which has a positive influence on our mental health.  I invite you to a challenge to share some of your tools with a group of people who could benefit. Today I got inspired to call the town Recreation Department to see if I can offer a class; if not there, maybe a women’s shelter.  Add your ideas and experiences on the Cynthasis Facebook page.















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